Thu. Jul 18th, 2024

Women who sued Texas after being denied abortions say reproductive rights are their top election issue

By 37ci3 Jun24,2024


  • On the two-year anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision, women who sued the state of Texas over exceptions to the abortion ban say reproductive rights are a crucial election issue for them.
  • The Texas Supreme Court ruled against the plaintiffs in Zurawski v. State of Texas last month.
  • Top contender Amanda Zurawski told NBC News that she plans to devote all her time and energy to re-electing President Joe Biden.

On the two-year anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision, the women who sued the state of Texas in a high-profile lawsuit over exceptions to the abortion ban say their experiences have made abortion a crucial issue for them ahead of the November election.

Last month, the Texas Supreme Court ruled against the plaintiffs Zurawski filed suit against the state of Texas after she was denied an abortion despite serious health complications during the pregnancy. The group, which included a total of 20 women and two obstetricians, was represented by the Center for Reproductive Rights and sought more specific guidance on what circumstances qualify for medical emergency exceptions to Texas’ strict ban.

The state Supreme Court rejected their challenge, saying that Texas law does not allow abortion even when there is a serious fetal abnormality, and that under the law it is up to doctors to decide when to terminate a pregnancy.

Adapt it NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt 6:30 pm ET/5:30 pm CT to watch the full panel interview with the five plaintiffs from the Zurawski case.

Samantha Casiano, one of the plaintiffs, said her abortion denial experience brought home how severe Texas’ restrictions are.

“Now everyone in my family has to vote,” she said. “If you’ve never voted before, you will this year. I will drive you there. It’s very important to me.”

Casiano was pregnant and living in East Texas with her husband and four children when she learned in December 2022 that her baby had anencephaly, a fatal condition in which the brain and skull are not fully developed. She didn’t have the finances or childcare to travel out of state for an abortion, so she carried the pregnancy to term and gave birth, only to watch her baby die within hours.

“Waking up every morning knowing your child is going to die and planning your child’s funeral ahead of time is crazy and it’s unfair. There’s just a lot of suffering there,” he said.

Casiano said supporting abortion access is especially important to her because she has a 3-year-old daughter.

“Later she will be a mother. I have nieces who are going to be mothers and I want them to get the health care they need.” “If God forbid, they need it, it should be for them.”

One in 10 women say abortion rights are most important the issue of identifying their voiceaccording to A survey published by KFF last weekis a health research and policy organization.

Five states — Colorado, Florida, Maryland, New York and South Dakota — have abortion rights on the November ballot, and six more states have similar measures pending. Organizers in Montana on Friday submitted the required number of signatures getting a constitutional amendment on the ballot there that would provide access to abortion.

Texas — where abortions are prohibited unless the patient has a life-threatening emergency and doctors face fines of at least $100,000, up to 99 years in prison and the loss of their medical licenses to perform abortions — has no abortion measure. ballot paper.

State medical board It issued updated guidance on Friday But for doctors about his abortion ban declined to provide a list of specific medical conditions this will be considered as an exception.

“There are no exceptions. They are lies. They don’t exist in practice,” said Lauren Miller, another plaintiff in the Zurawski case.

“We just shouldn’t be in a situation where there’s a certain point where your bodily autonomy is forfeited to the state,” Miller said. “People’s lives are in danger”

Miller, of Dallas, was thrilled when she found out she was pregnant with twins in September 2022. But at 12 weeks pregnant, she learned that one twin had trisomy 18, a life-threatening condition that threatened Miller’s health. and other fetuses.

He ended up in the emergency room with severe vomiting and dehydration, which left him at risk despite organ damage, doctors did not perform an abortion to remove the affected twin. He traveled nearly 800 miles and spent thousands of dollars on care in Colorado. She gave birth to her son Henry in March 2023.

“We’ve seen a lot of elections now that are decided by very narrow margins, and every vote counts,” Miller said.

Amanda Zurawski, the main plaintiff in the lawsuit, vowed that “from now until November, I will devote all my time, all my energy to the re-election of President Biden and Vice President Harris.”

Zurawski quit her job to become a campaign surrogate for Biden.

“Frankly, I’m afraid of what will happen if Trump returns to the White House,” he said.

Zurawski was denied an abortion after her waters broke at 18 weeks — too soon for the baby to survive. Zurawski wanted to leave the state to terminate the pregnancy, but doctors warned her there was a chance she might get an infection and she shouldn’t be more than 15 minutes away from the hospital.

After her condition worsened, doctors performed an emergency abortion. Zurawski developed sepsis and spent three days in intensive care after the abortion.

The Texas Supreme Court ruled in the Zurawski case that abortions can be permitted in cases where the patient’s water is broken before the fetus is viable, as this often leads to infection. That’s cold comfort to Zurawski now.

“Because of what happened to me, I now have to use a surrogate. The damage to my reproductive organs is permanent,” said Zuravski.

Now, she added, protecting reproductive rights is “the most important thing in the world to me.”

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By 37ci3

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